Folate supplements

I gather that Folate supplements may be necessary when taking high dose B12.

I note that many on this blog suggest folic acid 5mg tabs but I just read that it is preferable to take Folate tablets rather than folic acid.

My Folate level was normal when I started on B12 alternate day injections but I feel that my symptoms have now plateaued after about three weeks treatment and wondered if the B12 has increased my need for Folate supplementation.

Your advice would be very welcome before I place my Amazon order. Thank you.

10 Replies

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  • I got a significant improvement when I changed from folic acid to methylfolate tablets but this doesn't follow for everyone. I found the Solgar ones are the best for me but are expensive. The Health Leads capsules are OK but another cheap one I tried doesn't seem to work and all my symptoms started returning so be aware.

  • Thank you

  • I think 5mg of folic acid daily for a few months is usually the dose for those with a diagnosed folate deficiency. Some people on various medications eg methotrexate may need it too.

    I'm not sure many of the rest of us need levels that high routinely and there is some debate about the toxicity of doses above 1mg per day. The NHS and the EU recommends 1mg as the upper limit per day.

    Page 51 onwards: efsa.europa.eu/sites/defaul...

    nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-...

    Most people get enough folate from food sources (plus fortified food eg some cereals etc which have added folic acid).

    The whole folate v folic acid thing is a bit controversial. Folate is the form needed by the body but folic acid is apparently more bioavailable than folate. The vast majority of people can readily utilise folic acid just fine so taking folate tablets (which are much more expensive) rather than folic acid may well be a waste of money. Many websites sing the praises of taking folate over folic acid especially for those with various MTHFR SNPs but I'm yet to be convinced scientifically that is is helpful for the vast majority of people even those with assorted MTHFR SNPs. There have also been reports here of folate not agreeing with some people too. I'm not a medic however, just a slightly confused scientist!

    Personally as I regularly test fairly low in range and apparently have IBS and seem to have problems absorbing various things (eg Iron, Vit D...) I chose to take 400ug/day ordinary supermarket brand folic acid per day.

    I think this is one of those things you need to try and see whether folate or folic acid (or neither!) works best for you... Sorry I can't be any more help.

  • There is no reputable, repeatable, scientific research that shows any problems with any combination of MTHFR mutations - except one. That is homozygous for the C677>T SNP.

    Even if you do have this mutation (as do 9% of the population, including me) it isn't certain that taking methylfolate might be advantageous.

    I'm currently one week into trying folic acid instead of methylfolate (400 ug every other day) just to see if can tell the difference. After a month I'll be going back to the methylfolate as it'll be no worse and might be of some benefit in the long run.

    So far, no difference.

  • Thanks

  • Hi

    I get my folic acid tablets - 180 400 ug from Home Bargains - if you know that store for 45 pence a pack. That’s pretty cheap!

    Chris

  • Thank you

  • Thanks

  • I found it interesting that folate utilization is effected by zinc levels. I had not read that before.

  • Nor me. I have always taken a multivitamin and mineral pill each day as I suspect it is difficult to ensure an essential supply especially of trace elements from each day's food. The medical profession always claim it is unnecessary but contributors to this blog will recognise that most doctors have very little knowledge of these issues! I suspect it is why my B12 was not rock bottom when tested!

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